AIA Opposes Mass. Mold Bills

May 25, 2005

The American Insurance Association (AIA) is opposing two bills in Massachusetts (S.1310 and S.1311) that would mandate broad insurance coverage for all mold damage.

AIA testified before the Joint Committee on Public Health on Wednesday, and said that these bills could be extremely costly to homeowners in the commonwealth while providing little or no benefit.

“AIA believes that these bills are potentially costly for Massachusetts’ homeowners and state government agencies, but provide little or no public benefit,” said Paul Moran, AIA vice president, northeast region. “Further, and more importantly, research studies conducted by objective, credible scientific organizations have generally concluded that there is no link between exposure to mold and serious adverse health effects (other than allergic-type symptoms).”

Recognized groups such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Academies of Science/Institute of Medicine, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Texas Medical Association and the Harvard Health Letter have released studies showing there is no definitive link between mold and its alleged health effects.

“Commercial and residential property insurance policies have had longstanding exclusions for mold, fungus and dry rot. This reflects the principle that property insurance policies are not maintenance agreements. So, if a loss is caused by mold, for example a wooden deck deteriorates because it is eaten away by mold, or mold ruins some carpeting in a damp basement, those losses are excluded. No other state in the country requires insurers to cover these types of maintenance losses,” added Moran.

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